Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes in January, 2005. Cara Bloch/The Hell Gate/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Cara Bloch/The Hell Gate/Corbis

Conor Oberst performs at the 2014 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Conor Oberst performs a Tiny Desk Concert. Olivia Merrion/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Olivia Merrion/NPR

Clockwise from upper left: Jenny Lewis, My Brightest Diamond, Elephant Stone, Shinedoe. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artists

It's natural for Leonard Cohen to think a lot about mortality near the end of his life, but Ron Sexsmith says Cohen has never sung about "frivolous things." Dominique Issermann hide caption

itoggle caption Dominique Issermann

Conor Oberst staged a 14-band benefit concert last summer on a street in his hometown of Omaha, Neb., to raise awareness about immigration laws. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist